The Spanish Agricultural Guarantee Fund (FEGA) is developing tools so that applicants for the Common Agricultural Policy (PAC) can estimate the new amounts they are going to receive, according to the president of the organization, María Jose Hernandez Mendoza.
In an interview with Efe after taking office as the new head of FEGA, Hernández highlights that these calculation tools will be launched in the first months of 2023 in order to facilitate the transition to the new CAP, which will come into force in January and will apply until 2027.
The president affirms that they have also foreseen different flexibility mechanisms so that the interested parties can modify their unique requests if they detect an error, without this entailing any penalty.
“We are going to do everything possible so that this does not cause problems for the applicants”, highlights Hernández, who expresses his confidence that the new agrarian policy will be “well received” by farmers and that the transition will be “smooth”, without big changes for the beneficiaries.
Hernandez’s arrival in office, replacing Miguel Ángel Risk, occurs at a key moment for Spanish agriculture, after the European Commission has given its final approval to the Spanish strategic plan for the application of the new CAP.
The president of FEGA, an agricultural engineer from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, has developed her entire career linked to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA).
Since 2017, she has been the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the Spanish Embassy in France and before the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, as well as a delegate for Spain at the International Center for Agronomic Studies of the Mediterranean (Ciheam). ).
CALENDAR AT A GLANCE
Hernández now takes the reins of FEGA, an autonomous body attached to the MAPA whose main mission is to make it easier for CAP aid to reach beneficiaries effectively.
In his opinion, “the next few months are essential for everything to be ready” and the new CAP will be applied from January 1.
Until then, all national regulations must be adapted to European legislation, which includes the processing of a bill and 18 decrees, as well as the development of circulars that allow the “homogeneous and harmonized” application of the CAP throughout the national territory, according to Hernández.
The person in charge specifies that they are also adjusting the computer applications and other management and control instruments, to which are added the tasks of disseminating the news and the usual work of the 2022 campaign.
“As of October 16, you can start paying the advances of direct aid (for this campaign) and we are already working so that this develops completely normally,” says Hernández.
For the 2023 campaign, the application period will be open from March 1 to May 31, somewhat later than usual, in order to have more time to prepare and calculate the provisional rights of the new regime.
“The 2023 application is not going to entail additional administrative burdens,” Hernández points out, adding that, to simplify the procedures, they hope that in the coming years the information that the applicants have previously loaded in other applications can be automatically loaded into the single application. scopes.
CRITERIA OF THE NEW CAP
The president of FEGA underlines “the certainty and stability” provided by the new CAP and the “economic security” that the 6,800 million euros per year that it will receive in aid means for the Spanish agricultural sector.
“With the new CAP, the funds will be distributed in a fairer and more social way, with greater incentives for young people and women. All we are looking for is to ensure the profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of the producers and the rural territories where they are settle,” he says.
Hernández mentions some of the main novelties, such as the requirements to obtain the status of active farmer, modified to favor the professional farmer without excluding those who work part-time.
As for eco-regimes, these are voluntary measures with which producers can receive additional aid and contribute more to environmental objectives, according to schemes designed to cover “all the diversity of production systems in Spain.”